We know him best as “Sweet Micky”, a talented musician whose wild stage antics brought an element of shock to Haitian entertainment. In the late 1980s, he started out as any one of a number of notable Haitian talents and went simply by his name, Michel Martelly. Michel’s career began with the success of early releases with fun titles like, “Woule, Woule”, “Anba Rad La”, “The Sweetest” etc. However, real fame and international success came with the creation of a sub-identity “Sweet Micky”. It was the wild and uninhibited Micky that became a household name among Haitians. Sweet Micky’s irreverent style, controversial albums and frequent feuds with rival bands, made Michel Martelly wealthy and famous.
Martelly came into the Haitian music industry during turbulent times. In the early 1990s, the Island was in political free-fall after the ouster of the Duvalier regime. The populace had democratically elected a progressive yet controversial former priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide and within a year he was exiled by Haiti’s military. Haiti’s popular music Konpa, was struggling as a new generation preferred the sound of Zouk, which had its origins in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Michel Martelly’s act was one among a new generation of artists that met the challenge of Zouk by using technology to reduce the man-power it took to man live Konpa shows and moved its sound into the new digital format.Read more